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A Cone of Contention

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When the price of ice cream at an Ohio school's cafeteria went up 15 cents, a savvy 5th grader miffed at the price hike decided to put his classroom learning to good use.

Early last month, Mike Mullen, a student at Parkview Intermediate School in Fairview Park, a Cleveland suburb, decided that the 35-cent ice-cream pops he was used to eating at the school cafeteria weren't worth the new asking price of 50 cents.

Along with his friends Mike Shugrue and Matt McIntyre, he urged classmates to join in a spontaneous boycott of the frosty sweets.

When the young protesters posted "Don't Buy Ice Cream'' signs around the cafeteria, more than 100 students joined the kid-consumer boycott.

Joseph J. Hruby, the school's principal, says the students got the idea from a recent lesson on First Amendment rights.

"How often can you take a social-studies lesson and apply it to a real-world situation?'' Mr. Hruby asks.

After three weeks of the boycott, Marriott Management Services, which provides food service to dozens of schools and colleges in the area, caved in and lowered the price to 45 cents.

There's no word on whether the youngsters plan to exercise their rights in regard to other items on the menu.--S.K.G.

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